2024 Germany Close Up

July 28 - August 6, 2024

Applications are scheduled to close on February 29, 2024

Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up – American Jews Meet Modern Germany is an initiative created to enrich transatlantic dialogue and provide young Jewish American emerging leaders up to age 39 with an opportunity to experience modern Germany up close and personally. A generous government scholarship (a part of the ERP Special Assets of the German Ministry for Economics and Technology) covers more than two-thirds of participation costs.


The German Academic Exchange (DAAD), in cooperation with Classrooms Without Borders (CWB), has designed the Germany Close Up (GCU) seminar for young Jewish Professionals. Established in October 2007, Germany Close Up was an initiative to provide young American Jews the opportunity to meet modern Germany and enrich transatlantic dialogue. It offers a chance to experience modern Germany up close and personally. The Program aims to allow participants to gain their perspective on Germany through individual experience. The seminar outlines many facets of modern Germany, focusing on the past and present. Every GCU seminar entails many activities, tours, and meetings. Participants will meet German opinion makers from academic life, voices across the political spectrum, representatives of grassroots movements, and German peers. The seminar covers Germany's past and its efforts to deal with the memory of the Holocaust and the Nazi terror. Participants will also examine Germany's transformation in the last 70 years and its steps to become a modern, reunified, and democratic country in the heart of the European Union, home to the third-fastest growing Jewish community worldwide. Observing Shabbat and keeping a kosher diet is possible during travel in Germany. The 10-day Program will enable participants to experience Berlin's multicultural life, visit former East Germany, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and experience other key historical sites and cultural venues. GCU participants will meet with German opinion-makers, grassroots movements, faculty and students of the Humboldt University Berlin, the Jewish community, and German contemporaries. Participants will actively explore the role of Jewish voices in transatlantic relations and contribute to German-American dialogue. The Program will focus on the following topics:

    • Berlin and United Germany
    • The Holocaust and the Nazi Era, including a visit to a former concentration camp
    • Transatlantic/German-American relations (including a meeting with officials of the German Foreign Office)
    • Jewish Berlin, past and present (including the integration of new members of the Jewish community)
    • German-Israeli relations
    • A visit to Munich and Nuremberg
A generous government scholarship (part of the ERP Special Assets of the German Ministry for Economics and Technology) covers more than two-thirds of the participant fees. The participants will pay their participation fee indirectly to GCU by purchasing their individual roundtrip airline tickets. After acceptance into the Program, participants will be responsible for booking airline economy class tickets. A receipt will need to be provided to the DAAD office after completion of the seminar. A two-step process for applying:



An Open Program for Young Professionals in Affiliation with Classrooms without Borders July 28 – August 6, 2024 

Tentative Schedule – Still subject to change 

Sunday, July 28: Arrival in Munich
    • Individual Arrival in Munich and Transfer to the Hotel
    • Noon For participants who arrive early: Meet in the hotel lobby to visit the castle (optional)
    • 12:45 p.m. Visit Nymphenburg Castle (optional). Meeting point: t.b.c. Schloss Nymphenburg 1, 80638
    • München Free time / Lunch on your own 3:00 p.m.
    • Rooms are ready for check-in
  3:30 p.m. Meet in the lobby ready for a museum visit (optional) 4:00 p.m. Visit the Alte Pinakothek (optional) Alte Pinakothek Barer Straße 27, 80333 München.
Monday, July 29: Welcome and Orientation
  • 9:15 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure
  • 10:00 a.m. Q&A Session with Germany Close Up Staff Location TBA
  • 12:00 p.m. Welcome Lunch Restaurant Einstein St.-Jakobs-Platz 18, 80331 München
  • 2:00 p.m. Tour of the Ohel Jakob Synagogue with Rabbi Shmuel Aharon Brodman Israelitsche Kultusgemeinde München und Oberbayern K.d.ö.R. St.-Jakobs-Platz 18, 80331 Munich
  • 5:00 p.m. Walking Tour of Munich Munich is Bavaria's capital and most populous city, the second most populous German federal state. With a population of around 1.5 million, it is the third-largest city in Germany, after Berlin and Hamburg; when Bavaria was established as a sovereign kingdom in 1806, Munich became a major European center of arts, architecture, culture, and science. Today, the city’s status as a major international center of engineering, science, innovation, and research is exemplified by the presence of two research universities, a multitude of scientific institutions in the city and its surroundings, and world-class technology and science museums like the Deutsches Museum and BMW Museum. 1920s Munich became home to several political factions, including the NSDAP. The first attempt of the Nazi movement to take over the German government in 1923 with the Beer Hall Putsch was stopped by the Bavarian police in Munich with gunfire. After the Nazi's rise to power, Munich was declared their "Capital of the Movement." During World War II, Munich was heavily bombed, and more than 50% of the entire city and up to 90% of the historic center were destroyed. Unlike many other German cities that were heavily bombed, Munich restored most of its traditional cityscape and hosted the 1972 Summer Olympics. The city’s numerous architectural attractions, sports events, exhibitions, and its annual Oktoberfest attract considerable tourism. It is also a top-ranked destination for migration and expatriate locations. Starting point: Spielzeugmuseum (Turm des Alten Rathauses am Marienplatz)
  • 7:00 p.m. Dinner with members of the Jewish community in Munich Location TBA

Tuesday, July 30: Remembrance and Beyond
  • 9:00 a.m. Guided Tour of the Memorial at the Former Concentration Camp Dachau On March 22, 1933, a few weeks after Adolf Hitler had been appointed Reich Chancellor, a concentration camp for political prisoners was set up in Dachau. This camp served as a model for all later concentration camps and as a “school of violence” for the SS men under whose command it stood. In the twelve years of its existence, over 200.000 persons from all over Europe were imprisoned here and in the numerous subsidiary camps. 41.500 were murdered. On April 29, 1945, American troops liberated the survivors. The Memorial Site on the grounds of the former concentration camp was established in 1965 on the initiative of and in accordance with the plans of the surviving prisoners who had joined together to form the Comité International de Dachau. The Bavarian state government provided financial support. Between 1996 and 2003, a new exhibition on the history of the Dachau concentration camp was created, following the leitmotif of the “Path of the Prisoners.” Memorial at the Former Concentration Camp Dachau Alte Römerstraße 75, 85221 Dachau
  • 11:00 a.m. Expert Talk with Gerd Modert, Historian and Educator (TBC)
  • 3:00 p.m. Guided Tour of the Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism The new Munich Documentation Center opened in 2015 on the site of the former “Brown House,” the headquarters of the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP), as the Nazi Party was officially called. Between 1933 and 1945, the area around Königsplatz became a showcase for Nazi aesthetics and the regime’s seat of power, where many branches of the Nazi administration had their central offices. The NSDOKU critically examines this location's history and addresses Munich’s historical significance as the former “capital of the movement.” Munich Documentation Center for the History of National Socialism Max-Mannheimer-Platz 1, 80333 Munich
  • 5:00 p.m. Group Discussion with Germany Close Up Staff Location TBA
  • 7:00 p.m. Dinner Location TBA

Wednesday, July 31 Nuremberg
  • Check out of the hotel
  • 7:30 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure
  • Bus Departure to Nuremberg
  • 10:00 a.m. Arrival in Nuremberg
  • 10:30 a.m. Guided Tour of the Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds The National Socialist Party held their Party Rallies in Nuremberg from 1933 to 1938. Even today, the remains of the huge structures they built bear witness to how these propaganda shows were staged Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds Bayernstraße 110, 90478 Nuremberg
  • 12:30 p.m Lunch
  • 2:00 p.m. Walking Tour of Nuremberg Nuremberg is a middle-sized city located in the north of the German state of Bavaria. The first official record of the city dates back to 1050, with the city being noted as the site of an imperial castle. During the Middle Ages, Nuremberg Castle was a regular meeting point of the Holy Roman Empire, causing the city to be often referred to as the 'unofficial capital' of the Holy Roman Empire. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the city had a rich cultural scene, making it the center of the German Renaissance. Due to the city’s relevance to the Holy Roman Empire, Nuremberg was given a significant role in National Socialist mythology. The city was chosen to be the site of NSDAP conventions – the Nuremberg rallies, and also gave its name to the Nuremberg Race Laws. Today, many examples of Nazi architecture can still be seen in the city. Between 1945 and 1946, German officials involved in war crimes and crimes against humanity were brought before an international tribunal in the Nuremberg trials. Meeting point: Lorenzkirche Hauptportal Lorenzer Platz 10, 90402 Nuremberg
  • 4:30 p.m. Visit the Memorium Nuremberg Trials in two groups The Memorium Nuremberg Trials is located at the courthouse of the Nuremberg Palace, where the leaders of the Nazi regime had to answer for their crimes before an International Military Tribunal between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946. The trials had an enormous influence on the development of international criminal law right up to the present. Courtroom 600 remains a working courtroom to this day. An information and documentation center, the Nuremberg Trials, is located on the top floor of the Courthouse. Memorium Nuremberg Trials Bärenschanzstraße 72, 90429 Nuremberg
  • Free time and dinner on your own

Thursday, August 1: Orientation in Berlin
  • 8:30 a.m. Check Out of Hotel Meet in the hotel lobby, ready for departure Luggage will be stored in the bus
  • 9:00 a.m. Guided Tour of the Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds The National Socialist Party held their Party Rallies in Nuremberg from 1933 to 1938. Even today, the remains of the huge structures they built bear witness to how these propaganda shows were staged. Former Nazi Party Rally Grounds Bayernstraße 110, 90478 Nuremberg
  • Lunch on your own at the train station
  • 12:01 p.m. Train Departure to Berlin
  • 2:57 p.m. Arrival in Berlin Bus pick up from the Central Station Check in to the hotel
  • 4:00 p.m. Berlin City Bus Tour, including a Visit to the Bavarian Quarter with Ben Fisher Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.4 million people, it is located in northeastern Germany on the River Spree. Around one-third of the city's area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, and lakes. First documented in the 13th century, Berlin became the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–33) and the Third Reich (1933–45). After World War II, the city and the German state were divided into East Berlin — the capital of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) — and West Berlin, a political exclave (surrounded by the Berlin Wall from 1961 to 1989). Following German reunification in 1990, the city was once more designated as the capital of all Germany. Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science, hosting 147 foreign embassies. Its economy is primarily based on high-tech and service sectors, encompassing diverse creative industries, research facilities, media corporations, and convention venues. Significant industries include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, biotechnology, electronics, traffic engineering, and renewable energy. Berlin is home to renowned universities, research institutes, orchestras, and museums. Its urban setting and historical legacy have made it a popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts, public transportation networks, and an extremely high quality of living. Bayerischer Platz at the center of the Bavarian Quarter has also become synonymous with a memorial on this site. In 1993, the artists Renata Stih and Frieder Schock erected the memorial in remembrance of the Jewish residents of the quarter murdered by the Nazis. The memorial is made up of 80 lamp posts with double-sided placards showing a picture on one side and a text excerpt from Nazi legislation demonstrating the successive legal discrimination of Jews on the other. Starting point: Hauptbahnhof Berlin (Pick-Up by bus)
  • 8:00 p.m. Dinner Restaurant TBA

Friday, August 2: German Politics in a Nutshell
  • 8:15 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure Dress code: business casual Please bring your passport!
  • 9:00 a.m. Meeting with a Politician TBA
  • 11:00 a.m. Meeting with a Representative of the German Federal Foreign Office German Federal Foreign Office Werderscher Markt 1, 10117 Berlin U2 Hausvogteiplatz
  • 1:00 p.m. Lunch Goodtime Hausvogteiplatz 11, 10117 Berlin U2 Hausvogteiplatz
  • Free time to change back into informal wear
  • 7:00 p.m. Services Synagogue Fraenkelufer Fraenkelufer 10, 10999 Berlin U8 Schönleinstraße
  • 8:00 p.m. Dinner with the Congregation Synagogue Fraenkelufer Fraenkelufer 10, 10999 Berlin U8 Schönleinstraße
  • 8:38 p.m. Time for candle lighting

Saturday, August 3 Shabbat (programming optional)
  • Services (optional) Orthodox Service Lauder Yeshurun Minjan Rykestraße 53, Front Building, 10405 Belrin U2 Senefelder Platz Conservative/Masorti Service Synagoge Oranienburger Straße Oranienburger Straße 28-30, 10117 Berlin U6 Oranienburger Tor / S Oranienburger Straße / Tram M1+12
  • 10:30 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure
  • 11:00 a.m. Boat Tour
  • 12:30 p.m. Lunch on your own
  • 2:30 p.m. Visit to Art Museum TBA
  • Free time and dinner on your own
  • 9:57 p.m. Shabbat ends - Havdalah

Sunday, July 23 Wannsee 8:30 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure
  • 9:00 a.m. Introduction to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Visit to the Information Center (two groups) The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in the center of Berlin is Germany‘s central Holocaust memorial site, a place for remembrance and commemoration of the six million victims. The Memorial consists of the Field of Stelae, designed by architect Peter Eisenman, and the underground Information Center. It is maintained by a Federal Foundation. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin S+U Brandenburger Tor / S+U Potsdamer Platz / Bus 10
  • 11:00 a.m. Bus departure
  • 12:00 a.m. Visit to Track 17 Track 17 is a memorial initiated by the Deutsche Bahn, the German national railway services, to commemorate the deportations undertaken by its predecessor, the Deutsche Reichsbahn. The Grunewald S-Bahn station is located on the western outskirts of Berlin. Between autumn 1941 and most probably spring 1942, deportation trains carrying Berlin Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in the east departed from this train station. Track 17 Am Bahnhof Grunewald, 14193 Berlin S Grunewald
  • 1:00 p.m. Lunch at Wannsee
  • 3:00 p.m. Guided Tour of the House of the Wannsee Conference with Eike Stegen, Educator, House of the Wannsee Conference (TBC) The Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz is a former industrialist’s villa built in 1915. From 1941 to 1945, it was used by the SS as a conference center and guest house – on 20th January 1942, fifteen high-ranking representatives of the SS, the NSDAP, and various ministries met to discuss their cooperation in the planned deportation and murder of the European Jews. The memorial site offers exhibitions and a number of possibilities for studying the persecution and murder of the European Jews and the history of national socialism, its prehistory, and its consequences. Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz OR Guided Tour of the Liebermann-Villa The Liebermann Villa on Wannsee is the former summer home of the painter Max Liebermann (1847-1935). He was one of the most important artists of modernism. Initially a "poor man's painter" dedicated to realism and naturalism, he later became one of the most important representatives of German Impressionism. In 1920, Liebermann was appointed President of the Prussian Academy. Max Liebermann's death in February 1935 was officially passed over in silence, and only a few people attended the funeral service. As a Jewish artist, his art was removed from German museums. His daughter Käthe was able to flee abroad with her family. His wife Martha Liebermann, however, stayed behind in Berlin and committed suicide in 1943. In 1909, the family acquired a plot of land by the Wannsee and built a summer house there. Since 2006, the museum and garden have been permanently accessible to the public. Liebermann-VillaColomierstraße 3, 14109 Berlin S Wannsee
  • Free time and dinner on your own

Monday, August 5 Study Day 9:30 a.m. Meet outside the hotel, ready for departure
  • 10:00 a.m. Discussion: Initiatives against Antisemitism and Right Wing Extremism - TBA Location TBA
  • 12:00 p.m. Lunch
  • 2:00 p.m. Panel: Holocaust Education in Germany - TBA Location TBA
  • 7:00 p.m. Farewell Dinner Location TBA

Tuesday, August 6 Individual Departure from Berlin Have a safe trip home!


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